I got a chance to check out Lutz’s BBQ tonight. I haven’t ever been to the Jeff City location, so it was an entirely new experience for me.
First, the good. What I had was excellent. I did a 1/3 pound pulled pork sandwich with a salad. I also had a box of chips (more on that in the weird). The pork was probably the best I’ve ever had; and I say that as a huge Buckingham fan. It’s a little dry, in the sense that it’s not drenched in grease/juice. I actually far prefer that. It had a wonderful char on the outside and was gorgeously pink with a sweet smoky tang.
My salad was also very nice, far above the iceberg selection at Buckingham, with parmesan, cauliflower, broccoli, grape tomatoes and red and yellow pepper strips.
I chose the vinegar and salt chips. Again, superb. Very thin, crisp and just the right amount of vinegar. I could see those chips getting addicting in a hurry.
I also tried a friend’s pork tenderloin and, again, really nicely done. Service was pretty reasonable seeing as there was a big line; they were hoofing it.
Now the weird. The menu choices, in some cases lack of choices, and pricing.
What I really wanted was a pulled pork dinner. Guess what? There isn’t one. You can have chicken. You can have a pork steak. You can have burnt brisket ends, baby back or spare ribs, fish, and even a sampler dinner, but no pulled pork on the dinner menu. I’m not into buns/bread. So since I wanted pulled pork, I had to get a sandwich and discard the bread.
Fine. Okay, I’ll get the sandwich. But you are only allowed certain side choices. You get one set of choices for a single side, and a different set of choices for two sides. You can’t mix! What I wanted was a pulled pork sandwich (okay, a pulled pork dinner — but that was already off the table) with a salad and a side of chips. That was flat-out not allowed. The salad was one of the single choices and the chips were on the “two sides” menu. I really didn’t get the explanation why, except that they refused to do it.
My only choice if I wanted a salad was to get the salad as my side then buy an entire box of chips. Which frankly irked the crap out of me. Yes, the chips are good. I did not want or need an entire box. To me it smelled of jacking prices. I was willing to pay a slight upcharge to mix; that’s what we do at Buckingham. I was not prepared to be told no; I was not allowed to have the choices I wanted for dinner in a reasonable portion size.
I did buy the box and shared it with the table, but it still made me mad.
Oh and they have a whopping two salad dressings: ranch or poppyseed.
Finally, I am disappointed that if you want to buy just meat, you can only buy in 1 pound-or-more portions. I love to go to Buckingham and get a half pound of turkey and a half pound of pork. I can get turkey as a meat at Lutz’s (but again, not available as a dinner…), but I’d have to buy a pound of each.
The food really is very good. I just wish the menu offered more and they were more adaptable.